Brief History

The idea of a Geometry Lab is directly inspired by the Geometry Center in Minnesota founded by A. Marden from 1994 to 1998, which produced a wealth of mathematical software (most notably the SnapPea hyperbolic analyzer) and influential mathematical visualizations (most notably, Not Knot, Outside In, and Shape of Space).

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The first off-shoot of this, the Experimental Geometry Lab (EGL) at the University of Maryland (UMCP), was founded in 2000 by William Goldman (who was on the Geometry Center's governing board during its last two years) and Richard Schwartz. It has run since then and all present geometry labs (except one adopted lab in KS) directly come from the EGL.

Sean Lawton completed his doctorate in 2006 at UMCP, and returned in 2009 as a postdoc. His affiliation with the EGL began earlier, while he was a graduate student, helping with numerous outreach activities and managing the lab. He began speaking about "franchising" EGL at that point and began promoting this idea at conferences and during job interviews. During his post-doctoral year with EGL he and then graduate student Ryan Hoban ran an intensive summer REU-type project in the EGL. After that, he moved to the University of Texas (UTRGV) and established the first extension of EGL named the Experimental Algebra & Geometry Lab (EAGL) in 2009. In 2014 he moved to George Mason University (GMU), where he founded the Mason Experimental Geometry Lab (MEGL) with Chris Manon (who has now founded a lab in KY).

Anton Lukyanenko joined the EGL at the end of his freshman year at UMCP, and soon he began supervising projects and administering the lab. After completing his Bachelors degree at UMCP, he stayed on and completed his Masters degree in 2008. He then moved to the doctoral program at the Univerity of Illinois (UIUC) in 2008, where he and Jayadev Athreya established the Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL) in 2010. This was extremely successful with enormous participation from many different faculty members and students. IGL remains the largest and most productive geometry lab in our network of geometry labs. After completing his doctorate in 2014 under Jeremy Tyson (who took over as director of IGL from 2014-2017), Anton moved to the University of Michigan as a postdoc where he started another geometry lab called Laboratory of Geometry at Michigan (LOGM). Jayadev Athreya has since moved to the University of Washington where he started another geometry lab called Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab (WXML).

We are now at 10 labs around the country and growing.

Sister Labs

Geometry Labs United (GLU)

The growing network of labs is under the umbrella of a national organization, founded by Sean Lawton, Anton Lukyanenko, and Jayadev Athreya in 2012, call Geometry Labs United.



We encourage students and faculty from different labs to communicate and collaborate on research, visualization, and outreach.

Start Your Own Lab

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